Saturday, February 9, 2013

How To Embroider - The One Stitch To Get You Going

For one reason or another, I thread a needle every day. I especially find embroidery to be both soothing to the soul, and rewarding to the creative spirit. I was stitching together a patchy bohemian bag, with lots of little squares of fabric, and realized that I wanted a patch to express my love of embroidery. So I stopped what I was doing and stitched it up in about ten minutes. I went with something a little off-the-cuff, rather than a "I Heart Embroidery" kinda thing! But, it could say that!

If you've never embroidered and want to try--it's easy peezy! It's cheap too. You just need some fabric, even printed fabric will do, a hoop, an embroidery needle, and some embroidery floss. I prefer DMC, but there are a few different brands out there and a skein of floss is under 40 cents. There are specialty flosses, like satin, linen, and variegated--they cost a little more, and you can buy them in sets too. But still, very inexpensive!

 To embroider my little patch, I used a small hoop. There are two pieces to a hoop, and the one that is not adjustable goes on the bottom of your fabric.

 The other hoop goes on top of your fabric, and helps tighten it up so you are ready to stitch.

Here, I am actually stitching on a piece of an old tablecloth. It is made of nice thick cotton, and I had used some of the decorative part of it for my patches. I am using the white parts to stitch on.

So see...embroidery is very green! It helps you to repurpose and recycle, as well as making art and making you feel happy and relaxed.

  So here I go with the "split stitch" where you simply sew the stitch by going back and putting your needle inbetween the last stitch. A skein of floss is actually six strands. Many patterns tell you to separate it and use two strands to thread your needle. I like to use three strands because I think it has a richer look. You can pretty much embroidery anything using the split stitch. And it looks kinda fancy too! But if you wanted a simpler look, you can use the straight stitch or backstitch--just take it to the edge of the last stitch rather than poking the needle into the middle of the last stitch.
 I added a couple of curly cues--when you've stitched enough, you start to try a few things! To dot my "i" I used a French knot. But you could also just stitch a little x. After stitching my words, I want to put a loopy flower at the bottom. So I come up from the bottom, and then start to stitch back down right where my needle came up. But then I grab the floss with my fingers and bring the needle back up above the stitch, put it through the middle of the loop I've created with my fingers, and then stitch back down right where I had come up for that flower petal. The pics will help explain.

 Just do that all the way around to stitch your petals for a fun little flower. You can also transfer a pattern onto your fabric or pencil it on to make it easier to stitch. I tend to freehand stitch all the time. Before you know it, you'll be embroidering your shorts for summer, jeans, pillows, and purses, like me. Embroidery is so simple, and you will love how it soothes your soul!


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